Wine; Home @ 26 Jan 2013 12:27 pm by Christina Waters
How nice of winemaker Jim Schultze to provide an elegant Burgundian-style Pinot Noir, bearing the Windy Oaks label and made from Santa Cruz Mountains grapes, for under $30.
The 2010 Terra Narro ($27.99 @ Shoppers) is a sensational companion for salmon or pork, and offers up perfume of bay leaves, mint and smoke riding an appealing raspberry foundation. Just enough tannins to provide structure, this is a highly approachable 14% alcohol creation. The long, slow finish gets better the second day.
Wine; Home @ 03 Aug 2012 11:32 am by Christina Waters
Fans of Vine Hill’s well-crafted wines will want to rush over to Shoppers Corner immediately. In-house wine guru Andre Beauregard has slashed prices on a terrific array of Vine Hill and Cumbre Syrahs, Chardonnays and many other varietals—in half!
That means, for example, $13 for a 2008 Syrah. $9.99 for a mouth-filling 2009 Chardonnay.
Need I say more? Shoppers Corner.
[turns out there’s been some MAJOR upsets at Vine Hill….details coming soon]
Wine; Home @ 23 Apr 2012 04:41 pm by Christina Waters
That would be the 2006 Mt. Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir I had been saving (okay, only for two years….) and finally opened.
Such a beautifully-balanced creation. Plums and sassafras, minerals, a through-line of licorice and a bouquet that suggested the elegant Russian Leather perfume by Chanel. All of this was strung, like Christmas lights, on a slender but sturdy core of tannins. At 13.8% alcohol, it is nearly perfect for my palate.
With salmon, it was celestial. And worth the $49.50 pricetag. Let me say that again. You really do get what you pay for, and even though there’s a lot of drinkable stuff out there (thank you Chile) there’s not a lot of memorable wine.
This was memorable.
Wine; Home @ 16 Apr 2012 12:33 pm by Christina Waters
Even though many winemakers — and wine drinkers — have long recognized the unique properties of the Corralitos region of our SCM AVA, the news bears repeating.
Still Sunday’s piece at SFGate is a sweet bit of recognition.
Check it out.
Food; Wine; Home @ 11 Apr 2012 04:17 pm by Christina Waters
Yes there is a new chef, and a new name over at the Bonny Doon Tasting Room. Le Cigare Volant’s the name, and Ryan Shelton—formerly of the Michelin two-star restaurant Baumé in Palo Alto—is the chef.
Our initial dinner last week gave us plenty to smile about. The food is deeply flavorful, i.e. not tricky or overwrought. The ingredients impeccable, and yes, the presentation was both attractive and uncluttered.
Here are some observations. We began with a small plate of house-cured boquerones ($5) fresh from the Monterey Bay. And they were outstanding, neither “fishy,” nor aggressively seasoned. Actually delicate. Great with glasses of Le Cigare Volant Blanc and the 2008 Nebbiolo.
Next we shared what I predict will be the destination starter at the new Le Cigare Volant—an order of the evening’s flatbread creation, topped with spinach, earthy hen of the woods mushrooms and fresh lemon basil sprigs ($14). (more…)
Wine; Home @ 27 Mar 2012 04:04 pm by Christina Waters
Applying some spin to his perennially avant garde branding instincts, Doon-meister Randall Grahm has brought in a new chef, and ushered in a new name for his tasting room restaurant.
Gone is the fairly tame “Cellar Door” and in comes the dashing “Le Cigare Volant” named for the winery’s celebrated flagship Rhônesque creation. The culinary team at Le Cigare Volant will be headed up by chef Ryan Shelton, who joins Bonny Doon from the two star Michelin ranked Baumé Restaurant in Palo Alto. The new name, according to Grahm, represents “a commitment to a more refined…level of cuisine and service.” (more…)
Wine @ 13 Feb 2012 12:23 pm by Christina Waters
Should you need another reason to swing by the Cellar Door and feast upon biodynamic vibes, Bonny Doon Vineyard wine and glamorous food, now there’s David Taylor, from San Francisco’s sizzling A16, who will take over the kitchen for a Winemaker Dinner, Sunday Feb. 26 at 7pm.
Need tempting? The multi-course menu ($80 per person, wine pairings included) begins with an amuse of rabbit terrine with roasted alba mushrooms. Antipasto of wild arugula (more…)
Wine; Home @ 07 Dec 2011 03:56 pm by Christina Waters
A packed house of friends, family and wine club members greeted the unveiling of the chic, friendly new tasting room showcase for Vine Hill Winery varietals. Finger food catered by Kelly’s—divine wood-fired pizza topped with sweet caramelized onions and olives, plus cheese, chevre-stuffed red potatoes and charcuterie platters—was joined by a very long list of wines created by Sal Godinez and his team.
Architect Mark Primack and designer Lore James (also Vine Hill’s marketing director) shared the spotlight, and kudos, for their clever interior (more…)
Wine; Home @ 06 Dec 2011 06:22 pm by Christina Waters
If you need any further proof of John (Soif) Locke’s unerring wine sense, here it is. Last weekend Soif hosted former UCSC student-turned wine grower Kenny Likitprakong of Hobo Wines. Two days later I find that the SF Chronicle has named Likiprakong’s 2009 Ghostwriter Woodruff Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir one of the top 24 pinot noirs of 2011.
Grown from old vines from the Corralitos corridor, this earthy, spicy pinot is currently available for $45 in the Soif retail shop. I’m getting mine today. After I occupy a few banks.
Wine; Home @ 01 Dec 2011 12:18 pm by Christina Waters
From Birichino comes this wide open bouquet of spices, pepper and black cherries, Grenache Vielles Vignes 2010, Central Coast. At 13.5% alc. it moves all those bright fruit flavors deep into the center of your palate.
The brilliant cherry red wine spreads out horizontally and persists all the way to the end—to the end of that pork loin roast, or pizza, or cheese platter.
Retailing in the $15-$16 ballpark, this lovely wine (perfect for the holidays) is loaded with character and immediate appeal. Look for it at Soif, New Leaf and other enlightened wine shops.